Sabres Head Coach Ralph Krueger Tests Positive for COVID-19

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2021

Buffalo Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger in the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Buffalo Sabres announced Thursday that head coach Ralph Krueger has tested positive for COVID-19.

Buffalo Sabres @BuffaloSabres

An update from the Sabres organization: https://t.co/6r7srLO6dT

The announcement of Krueger's positive test comes on the heels of the Sabres placing forwards Taylor Hall and Tobias Rieder and defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and Brandon Montour on the COVID-19 protocol list over the past two days.

Because of the Sabres' coronavirus situation, the NHL postponed their games against the New York Islanders scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday, as well as their games against the Boston Bruins on Saturday and Monday.

The Sabres are not set to play again until Feb. 11 at the earliest, which is when they are scheduled to host the Washington Capitals.

The placement of four Sabres players on the COVID-19 list and Krueger's positive test come on the heels of the Sabres playing a two-game set against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday and Sunday.

As of Wednesday, the Devils had 17 players on the COVID-19 list, which raises the question of whether the NHL was negligent in allowing the Sabres vs. Devils games to be played.

Per NJ.com's Chris Ryan, several Devils players who played in both games against Buffalo are among those on the COVID-19 list. Forward Kyle Palmieri was placed on the COVID-19 list prior to the Sunday game after playing in the Saturday game, which perhaps should have been cause for alarm.

Of the 11 games originally scheduled to be played Thursday, three of them have been postponed because of COVID-19 protocol.

The Sabres, Devils, Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche are among the teams that have placed players on the COVID-19 list this week.

Krueger, 61, is in the midst of his second season as head coach of the Sabres after serving as the Edmonton Oilers head coach in 2012-13.

Following his one season as head coach of the Oilers, Krueger became chairman of English Premier League soccer club Southampton. He returned to the NHL last season and led the Sabres to a 30-31-8 record, which left them out of the playoffs for the ninth consecutive year.

So far this season, the Sabres are 4-4-2 and sit tied for fifth in the East Division with 10 points.